Send to

Choose Destination
J Crohns Colitis. 2018 Jan 5;12(1):48-56. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjx111.

Validity of Contrast-enhanced Ultrasonography and Dynamic Contrast-enhanced MR Enterography in the Assessment of Transmural Activity and Fibrosis in Crohn's Disease.

Author information

University Research Clinic for Innovative Patient Pathways, Silkeborg Regional Hospital, Silkeborg, Denmark.
Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Clinical Pathology, Lillebaelt Hospital, Vejle, Denmark.
Department of Pathology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Clinical Engineering, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.
Department of Colorectal Surgery P, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.


Background and Aims:

Increased small intestinal wall thickness correlates with both inflammatory activity and fibrosis in Crohn's disease [CD]. Assessment of perfusion holds promise as an objective marker distinguishing between the two conditions. Our primary aim was to determine if relative bowel wall perfusion measurements correlate with histopathological scores for inflammation or fibrosis in CD.


A total of 25 patients were investigated before elective surgery for small intestinal CD. Unenhanced ultrasonography [US] and magnetic resonance enterography [MRE] were applied to describe bowel wall thickness. Perfusion was assessed with contrast-enhanced US [CEUS] and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRE [DCE-MRE]. Histopathology was used as gold standard.


Compared with histopathology, the mean wall thickness was 0.4 mm greater on US [range -0.3 to 1.0, p = 0.24] and 1.4 mm greater on MR [0.4 to 2.3, p = 0.006]. No correlation was found between the severity of inflammation or fibrosis on histopathology, and either DCE-MRE [r = -0.13, p = 0.54 for inflammation and r = 0.41, p = 0.05 for fibrosis] or CEUS [r = 0.16, p = 0.45 for inflammation and r = -0.28, p = 0.19 for fibrosis]. Wall thickness assessed with US was correlated with both histological inflammation [r = 0.611, p = 0.0012] and fibrosis [r = 0.399, p = 0.048]. The same was not true for MR [r = 0.41, p = 0.047 for inflammation and r = 0.29, p = 0.16 for fibrosis].


Bowel wall thickness assessed with US is a valid marker of inflammation in small intestinal CD. However, relative contrast enhancement of US or of MRE cannot distinguish between inflammatory activity and fibrosis.


Crohn's disease; activity; contrast enhanced ultrasound; dynamic contrast enhanced MR enterography; fibrosis; pathology; stricture

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center